NHS dental registrations in Scotland are up by 2 million in the last 10 years according to new statistics published this morning.
92 per cent (4.9 million) of the Scottish population were registered with an NHS dentist as at the end of September 2016. This includes 94 per cent of adults living in the most deprived areas who are registered with an NHS dentist compared to 85 per cent in the least deprived areas.
At September 2016, 72 per cent (3.5 million) of those registered had seen a dentist within the last two years. This is a 36 per cent increase from the 2.56 million who participated in the two years prior to September 2006.
Children are more likely than adults to have seen an NHS dentist within the last two years (85 per cent compared to 68 per cent). Children and adults from the most deprived areas were less likely to have seen their dentist within the last two years than those from the least deprived areas (81 per cent compared to 90 per cent of children and 64 per cent compared to 75 per cent of adults).
Cabinet Secretary for Health Shona Robison said: “These new figures are very encouraging and show the great progress that has been made in the last 10 years. Availability of NHS dental services has improved substantially under this Government and we remain committed to ensuring that everybody who wants access to NHS dental services can receive it.
“Substantial investment by this Government, and the actions taken by NHS Boards, means that across Scotland 4.9 million people were registered for NHS dental services at September 2016 compared with 2.6 million at March 2007.
“To help address child dental health inequalities we will, as part of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan 2016, from 1st April 2017 begin to extend coverage of the ‘Childsmile’ national oral health improvement programme to reach even more comparatively deprived communities.”